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Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump in a basement It's time to inspect your sump pump.

Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

As a homeowner in Glen Ridge, NJ, it might seem like the maintenance for your home never ends. Cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof for damage or leaks should already be part of your seasonal checklist, but have you thought to check your basement? More specifically, if heavy rains are in the forecast or spring is coming around the corner, it’s time to inspect your sump pump.

What Is It?

This device is used to remove any water that’s gathered in a sump basin, which is usually found in the basement. In the event of a basement flood, this pump is necessary to ensure that water is sent away from the house and into a place, such as a storm drain or dry well, where it will no longer be a concern.

How To Perform Pump Care

For your benefit and ease, you should be putting time aside every couple of months to confirm that your sump pump is working correctly. If you are unsure on how to go about conducting pump maintenance, look to the following tips:

• Occasionally flood the sump basin by pouring water into it to ensure the pump does what it’s supposed to do and drains the water quickly. Have it serviced if it doesn’t.

• Be sure that the pump is standing upright. Sometimes vibrations occur while the pump is running that can make it topple over or tilt to one side.

• Check the power cord to be sure it’s connected. It’s not uncommon for a breaker to trip in damp areas. If needed, reset the outlet.

The below can be limited to once a year:

  • Clean out the sump.
  • Check the manual (or online) to see if the pump bearings need grease or oil.
  • Remove the pump from sump and clean and inspect it.

Learn Now, Protect Later

Though the preservation of your home is constant, the ease of knowing that you are capable of fixing your own sump pump is worthwhile. You can save time, money, and potential water damage to the rest of your home.

Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Keyboard of a computer on flames A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics.

Smoke Damaged Electronics

An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.

1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges

Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.

2. Dealing with Black Film

A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.

3. Removal of Acidic Soot

In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.

4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment

While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Upper Montclair, NJ, area.

A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.

5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. If you have water damage to your floors, SERVPRO is here to help around the clock. Call us!

Water Damage Prevention: Five Points To Keep In Mind

In Montclair NJ, damage from water in home environments can be problematic. Both to fix the damage and to find the source of the leak. If you’re worried about water damage occurring at your residence there are a few tricks you can try.

1. Fix Leaks ASAP

If you find a leak it’s important to take care of it quickly. Prompt pipe cleanup can lessen your chances of water damage, and allow you to take the steps you need to prevent potential issues before problems arise.

2. Inspect Your AC System

Regularly looking over your AC system can help you ensure that your home is receiving proper ventilation which can help it stay dry. It will also allow you to ensure that all your hoses and connections to the cooling unit are in working order.

3. Regularly Look Over Your Appliances

Damage from water in home appliances can occur as well. Common culprits are washers, dishwashers and refrigeration units. It’s important to look over connections and hoses so you can have them repaired or replaced before a leak causes damage.

4. Use the Right Tools When Fixing Issues

When fixing a broken pipe, tightening a connection or performing other maintenance, it’s important to always use the recommended tools for the job. Using the wrong tool can cause additional damage.

5. Know When To Call a Professional

Last but not least it’s important to know when to call a water damage professional. They can assess the situations and come up with a plan of action to help solve the problem and make repairs. If you don’t know where the water is coming from, what steps to take, or want the repairs fixed faster than you can do yourself, these are the people to call.

Whether you’ve found damage from water in home areas, or want to protect your residence, regularly looking over potential trouble spots may help. It’s also important to properly maintain plumbing and appliances, as well as fix any broken pipes as soon as you can. If you have any trouble a professional may be able to help.

Methods for Cleaning Items After Water Damage

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist is removing water damage in a home When you find water in your home, be sure to call the trained experts at SERVPRO of Montclair for mitigation services.

Cleaning Methods For Water Damaged Items

When excess water in the home affects your belongings and valuables, there may still be a chance that those items can be salvaged. Water restoration experts in Upper Montclair, NJ, can assess the damage and suggest a method for fixing it. It may be as simple as air drying, or it may involve a more complicated process.

Air Drying

Many items that undergo water damage from a broken pipe or other mishap in your home need to be air dried. Such items may include:

  • Important documents
  • Books
  • Photographs
  • Art
  • Textiles

Sometimes, this is all that is needed. For example, if you open a damp book and leave it open under a fan, the book will probably dry out quickly. If, however, the saturation is more intense, air drying may be the first step in the process. Make sure to air dry indoors as sunlight can cause fading to occur.

Vacuum Drying

Many specialists employ a vacuum seal method for cleaning up items affected by water in the home. Vacuum thermal drying uses heat to evaporate excess water. For items that would become distorted by excess warmth, vacuum freeze drying can use the opposite extreme temperature to leech water out of damaged items. This is the method most often used for rare books or valuable antiques.

Dry Cleaning

Linens, clothing and other fabric can usually be dry cleaned after your home floods. This chemical process is used to clean the fibers without dousing them with additional water. It can also help by removing or preventing stains from setting. After the cleaning process is done, items can be pressed to iron out wrinkles.

Not every item can always be salvaged, but the water damage technicians you hire to clean up water in the home are your best source for determining if saving your belongings is possible. They can advise you on the quickest and most effective method for dealing with the damage to your property.

How To Keep Your Home Smoke Alarms in Good Working Order

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hands taking home smoke detector apart with white ceiling background Fire damage restoration and cleanup are no problem for SERVPRO! If you've experienced a fire in your home, call the right company!

How To Maintain The Functioning Of Your Smoke Alarms At Home

It’s a good feeling when your family is all tucked safely in bed and the world is at peace. But sleeping through a fire is a leading cause of death in Glen Ridge, NJ. A smoke alarm is the best way to keep your family safe from the ravages of a home fire. If properly installed and fitted with fresh batteries, an alarm will sound at the first sign of smoke or flame and alert your family members in time to get out before they are overtaken by smoke or heat. But how often do you need to give these units a little attention?

How To Keep Your Smoke Detector Going Strong

•You need to replace the batteries in every unit at least once a year
•Test the units periodically to make sure they are functioning
•For modern units, it is recommended they be replaced about every ten years
•Most inexpensive alarms work as well as expensive designer ones – but good batteries can make a difference

Taking Further Steps

You can also buy linked detectors, which can for instance, set off an alarm upstairs when a fire is sensed up by a detector downstairs. The cost of batteries doesn’t compare it to the price you would have to pay if something goes wrong and you have no warning, so use quality batteries. Make sure to install the appropriate number for the home you are living in and that they are all in good working order.

If things do go wrong, your home could suffer from fire damage, as well as damage from water and smoke. Cleanup and repair can be a daunting task and one that is hard to tackle on your own. Call a professional restoration service in Glen Ridge, NJ, to help salvage and repair your home and its belongings. They can help with washing, dry cleaning and ozone or ultrasonic treatments to rid your home of residue and odor.

How Smart Business Owners Prepare for Emergencies

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire safety plan for  business Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill.

How Prepared Are Smart Business Owners for Emergencies?

If you are like most business owners in Montclair NJ, you want to do what you can to protect your business from catastrophe. Of course, safeguarding your building and other physical assets is only part of the equation. You also must take steps to ensure your employees and customers are safe during an emergency. By taking your routine fire drill to the next level, you increase your odds of avoiding disaster.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

Business owners have a duty to protect their employees and customers from injury. Before planning your drill, you must draft an action plan. To comply with OSHA regulations, business action plans must include at least the following components:

  • A procedure for reporting emergencies
  • An evacuation procedure, including escape routes
  • A description for continuing essential operations
  • A method for accounting for employees during the situation
  • An assignment of rescue and medical duties for designated employees
  • A detailed list of contact personnel inside and outside the organization

Hold Periodic Drills

Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill. During the drill, encourage employees to follow the action plan completely. You may also want to collaborate with emergency responders to make the drill as realistic as possible. Remember, planned drills are usually not as good as surprise one.

Evaluate the Success of Your Action Plan

After you complete a drill, you must have a method for evaluating its success. Ask each department to prepare a report card. Then, look for holes in your action plan. If the plan needs rewriting, do so before your organization’s next drill.

While you can probably use a restoration service to repair your business after a catastrophe, you can’t replace human life. With a complete action plan and a regular fire drill schedule, you can likely boost your odds of keeping everyone in your company safe during a disaster.

3 Cooking Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Microwave Fire This home had a fire loss that started in the microwave and spread from there. SERVPRO responded quickly and repaired all the damages.

3 Fire-Resistant Cooking Techniques

It is not difficult to prevent kitchen fires, but awareness and attention are necessary. Here are three fire damage prevention tips to avoid a grease fire.

1. Use Grease Safely

Grease fires are very hot and can cause extensive damage in a kitchen. Heat any cooking oil or grease slowly to a safe temperature and exercise caution when adding food. Remove as much moisture from food as possible before cooking in fat, and never cook frozen food in hot grease. Keep a Class K extinguisher between the kitchen and the nearest exit. Baking soda and salt can cause a chemical reaction that can put out grease fires, or you may be able to smother a fire with a cookie sheet or metal pot lid.

2. Monitor Cooking Food

A key safety tip is to remain in the kitchen to monitor food while it is cooking. This will ensure that you see and smell smoke and can suppress a fire as soon as it starts. If you do need to leave the room, set a timer that will remind you to check on food and prevent it from getting burned or starting a fire.

3. Organize the Kitchen

A kitchen should be organized with basic fire safety in mind. Avoid storing cooking utensils, oven mitts, or pot holders anywhere near the stove. It is also a good idea not to hang curtains or leave towels or other combustible textiles close to heating elements.

These tips can significantly reduce the risk that a grease fire will start in the kitchen of your home in West Orange, NJ. If a fire does break out, do everything you can to suppress it without compromising your safety. You may want to call firefighters to ensure that the fire is extinguished and poses no further danger. A residential fire damage mitigation and restoration service can fix any damage to your home.

Does Your Business Need Commercial Flood Insurance?

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Most flood policies only cover damage to your business’s physical structures. Most do not, however, cover damage to exterior parts.

Is Commercial Flood Insurance Necessary for Your Company?

The point of owning a business is to make money while selling goods or providing services. As you likely know, a flood can stop your business enterprise in its tracks. To better protect your organization from the harmful effects of floodwaters, you may want to purchase flood insurance.

Are Floods Covered by Conventional Commercial Insurance?

Because you are a diligent business owner, you have probably purchased conventional commercial insurance. Generally, commercial policies cover the following situations:

  • Damage to business property
  • General liability
  • Workers compensation

Glaringly missing from this list, of course, is damage due to flooding.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

If you purchase insurance coverage to protect your business from floodwater damage, you can expect it to generally cover damage to the outside and inside of your business. This includes losses from storm surges, rising rivers, excessive rainfall and other similar causes. Note, however, that a floodwater policy usually does not cover water from above your business. If your damage is due to overflowing gutters or a leaky roof, your commercial property insurance will likely cover your business loss.

What Does a Flood Policy Not Cover?

Most flood policies only cover damage to your business’s physical structures. Most do not, however, cover damage to exterior parts. Specifically, a flood policy likely exempts the following:

  • Damage to landscaping
  • Damage to septic systems
  • Damage to vehicles
  • Damage caused by work stoppages

Are You Required To Purchase a Flood Policy?

Most business owners have no obligation to purchase a flood policy. If your business is in a floodplain, however, you may have a legal requirement to purchase flood coverage. This is specifically true if you have a federal-backed mortgage. Restoration service may be able to help you restore the condition of your company after a flood, you may need to purchase flood insurance to better protect your business.

Commercial Water Damage Problems To Expect and How To Deal With Them

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in office. As a building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues.

As a business owner, there may come a time or two when you are forced to contend with common water issues such as a broken pipe or flooding. For this reason, it is important that you understand what to expect and, more importantly, how to deal with water-related headaches. Below are just four of the most common causes of water troubles that building owners have to deal with:

• Broken pipes
• Fire sprinklers
• Toilet overflow
• Supply line breaks

If you are faced with any of the above issues, there are steps you should take to minimize damage and repair costs.

Broken Pipes

Broken pipes are par for the course of property ownership and usually stem from old age or freezing temperatures. When faced with a broken pipe, you should shut off the water supply, locate the source of damage and make the necessary repair. If the damage is too great, you may have to contact your local plumber.

Fire Sprinklers

If your building catches fire, the fire sprinkler system should activate. When this occurs, you should call in your Verona, NJ, fire, and water remediation team to help clean up the damage and restore your building.

Toilet Overflow

Toilet overflow is another peril with which many business owners are forced to deal. Because you never know what toilet water contains or what causes an overflow, you should not attempt to deal with the mess yourself. Block off the area and contact a plumber and water repair company right away.

Supply Line Breaks

Like broken pipes, supply line breaks can happen because of old age or because of adverse weather conditions. When a supply line bursts, shut off the main water valve right away to prevent further damage and contact both a plumber and a local water remediation team as soon as possible.

As a building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues. Whether the issue stems from a broken pipe or a sewage backup, the best thing you can do to minimize damage and keep costs low is to contact a Verona, NJ, water repair company as soon as you discover the issue.

Why Is Mold Attracted to Residential Homes?

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist removing mold from of a room If your home is damaged by mold, don't worry about it, SERVPRO is ready to help you, just call us!

What Attracts Mold To Residential Buildings?

While mold can happen anywhere, it seems most attracted to residential buildings. Finding black mold in your home can be a nightmare of mold cleanup and remediation, but you can prevent it by understanding the common causes that lead to infestations in your Montclair NJ, home.

It’s All About the Water

Mold growth in your home can almost always be traced back to one source: a moisture problem. Black mold thrives on organic matter, but it requires moisture to truly grow out of control and proliferate. Common sources of moisture that lead to mold outbreaks include the following:

  • Broken and leaking pipes
  • Roof and window leaks
  • Standing water left behind by bathtub, shower, and toilet splashing or overflow
  • Water trapped beneath linoleum and tile
  • Standing water left behind by floods
  • Excess humidity and condensation in the air

So How Can I Fix Mold in My Home?

Avoid a mold infestation in the first place by keeping your home dry and free of leaks or other moisture sources.

• Check the integrity of your roofing and window seals and have them repaired as needed.
• If you’ve recently suffered flooding, quickly dispose of any sodden materials and dry out any remaining water, even if you may have to pull up carpeting and floorboards.
• Have a plumber in to check your pipes and keep them in good health.
• Check your appliances, particularly refrigerators and air conditioners, to ensure they aren’t leaking or having problems with condensation.
• If you live in a high-humidity environment, invest in a dehumidifier and run it as necessary to bring down the moisture levels in the air inside your home.

If you’ve already seen outbreaks of black mold, you may need to retain the services of a mold remediation specialist. These technicians can help you identify sources of mold that aren’t readily apparent on initial inspection and recommend appropriate cleanup and prevention actions.